These units must be capable of being used both internationally and nationally. In peacetime the Swedish Armed Forces must also be capable of being used in support of the civil community.
The Baltic Sea is an example of what is known internationally as an “extreme littoral” environment with shallow water and narrow channels. The Navy has thus for a long time been developing unique underwater, surface and above-surface capabilities to enable combat operations to be conducted in our adjacent coastal and sea areas.
The Navy’s international units have to be ready, once parliamentary approval has been given, to take part in military operations beyond Sweden’s borders. In such cases the Navy contributes both men and materiel. For example the Navy has, since the mid-1990s, been participating in mine clearance operations in the southern Baltic off the coasts of the Baltic States.
In 2006 the corvette HMS Gävle took part of the United Nations operation UNIFIL. With the designations ML 01 and ML 02, HMS Gävle and HMS Sundsvall operated, together with a national command and support group, off the Lebanese coast.
In 2008 Swedish soldiers were deployed in Chad. The amphibious regiment, Amf 1, was tasked with establishing and training the unit. The majority of the personnel involved were recruited from AM 07, a unit already fully trained and registered.
During 2009 the Navy contributed to European Union Naval Force, EU NAVFOR, Operation Atalanta with two corvettes, HMS Stockholm and HMS Malmö, and a support ship, HMS Trossö. During 2010 Sweden contributed with the patrol vessel HMS Carlskrona as Force Headquarters of EU NAVFOR and later on as a unit within the force.
The Swedish Navy includes units of the following types:
- Naval warfare flotillas capable of monitoring sea areas, maritime traffic and fisheries, and of engaging surface and underwater targets both in coastal waters and on the open sea, in addition to possessing a mine clearance capability.
- Submarine flotilla capable of the covert monitoring of sea areas, intelligence gathering and the engagement of both underwater and surface targets.
- Amphibious battalion capable of monitoring coastal and inshore areas and of engaging both surface and underwater targets.
- Naval base with a maritime base battalion and a maritime surveillance and information battalion capable of monitoring Swedish territorial waters and supporting other units with food and other supplies.
- Command and control unit for the coordination and command of forces composed of different units.
Rear Admiral Jan Thörnqvist, Chief of Staff Royal Swedish Navy and Commander Maritime Component Command is the senior representative of the Swedish Navy’s combat forces. Together with the Naval Staff at Armed Forces Headquarters, Rear Admiral Jan Thörnqvist leads materiel procurement and other capability-generating activities, that is to say force development and the training of officers, sailors and soldiers.
The Swedish Navy’s tactical staff leads activities utilising these capabilities, for example in actual operations and deployments and in major exercises, both in Sweden and abroad.